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Philadelphia Spotlight: November 2007

A Drowsy November logo
Robert Dorfman and Georgia Engel
in The Drowsy Chaperone
(© Joan Marcus)
This November there truly is something for every Philadelphia theatergoer. The Kimmel Center and the Shubert Organization kickoff their Cadillac Broadway Series with a limited engagement of the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone (November 27-December 2). The winner of five Tony Awards including best original score, Chaperone celebrates the magic of theater in a transporting musical experience that is impossible to resist.

Embark on a magical trip to Neverland with the delightful musical Peter Pan (November 6-January 6) at the Walnut Street Theatre. Based on J.M. Barrie's classic adventure story, the 1954 musical's score includes the agreeable numbers "I'm Flying" and "I've Got to Crow." Cary Michel Miller stars as the boy "who wouldn't grow up" and Paul Schoeffler (fresh off his sterling performance as Don Quixote in the Walnut's Man of La Mancha) appears as Captain Hook.

Theatre Exile introduces local audiences to the work of Noah Haidle with the Philly premiere of the playwright's dark comedy Mr. Marmalade (November 1-25). Told through the eyes of an imaginative young girl (portrayed by Barrymore award-winner Amanda Schoonover), Marmalade investigates the dangers of being a child in a treacherous adult world.

The Amaryllis Theatre Company takes part in the first annual Independence Starts Here: A Festival of Disability Arts and Culture when the company stages playwright Brian Friel's drama Molly Sweeney (November 1-18). Friel's tale of a blind woman who suddenly regains her sight stars blind actress Pamela Sabaugh in the title role. Also at the festival is Edward Albee's The Zoo Story (November 9-10). Produced by the Deaf West Theatre (best known for their innovative co-production of Roger Miller's musical Big River with the Roundabout Theatre Company), the production combines spoken English and American Sign Language in this disquieting classic about two men on a park bench.

Known for their potent dramas, Norristown's premiere company Iron Age Theatre departs from their usual fare with the company's staging of Samuel Beckett's inscrutable comedy Waiting for Godot (November 2-25). The story of two vagabonds waiting for a mysterious stranger destined to never arrive, Godot is a must-see for intrepid theatergoers. Sex and scheming suitors abound in the Lantern Theater Company's production of Moliere's classic farce The School for Wives (November 9-December 2). The story follows the exploits of Arnolphe, an arrogant old bachelor intent on molding the perfect wife.

Philadelphia Theatre Workshop has a history of producing plays with gay and lesbian characters. Now for the first time the small company turns its sights to musical theater with the world premiere of 50 West 50 (November 18-December 2). Written and directed by PTW co-creative director Bill Felty with lyrics and music from Frumi Cohen, the show focuses on four friends of various sexual orientations who dream of turning a dingy basement into New York City's hottest nightspot.

The Pig Iron Theatre Company teams with award-winning theater artist Cynthia Hopkins to produce Week 51 of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Plays/365 Days project (November 4-5). The Pig Iron-Hopkins collaboration is the only opportunity for local audiences' to witness Parks' much-discussed collection of mini-plays.

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